September 8, 2011


Downtown Arlington is Hopping with the Opening of Three New Businesses

Three distinct businesses opened their doors Labor Day weekend in downtown Arlington: pizza joint Mellow Mushroom, hangout Grease Monkey Burger Shop & Social Club, and funky Gypsy Riddles Boutique & Gallery.

Mellow Mushroom
Some may be familiar with the family-friendly Mellow Mushroom - Arlington has DFW’s second location. Dinner there is an experience that “exhilarates your senses and soul,” as owner Kim Slawson puts it.

Even though it’s part of a national chain, every art piece or fixture in the Center Street location is original and handmade with different stories behind them.

For example, the original Mellow Mushroom sign that co-founder Marc Weinstein created in 1974 sits above booths in the fire-and-ice bar. And the mural above the kitchen—that’s what Absolut Vodka looks like under a microscope.

The restaurant serves appetizers, salads, calzones and hoagies in addition to pizza.

Mellow Mushroom Contact Info: 817-274-7173; 200 N. Center Street, Arlington, TX 76011. Mellow Mushroom is also on Facebook.

Grease Monkey Burger Shop & Social Club
After dreaming up his ideal hangout spot more than one and a half years ago, managing partner/owner Greg Gardner of Grease Monkey Burger Shop & Social Club found his ideal space on Mesquite Street.

Gardner, a UTA graduate, has always thought of downtown Arlington as a “cool” place. When he found a location downtown where he could have an open garage door and patio, he was sold.

“I wanted the garage doors, I wanted it to be open [with] a New Orleans, Austin type of vibe,” Gardner said.

The underlying theme of Grease Monkey is the social aspect, which derives its name from the New Orleans social aid and pleasure clubs that helped communities come together.

“I called it a social club because it’s just kind of a place where you want to go hang,” said Gardner.

Besides the restaurant and bar, the hangout has a stage for live music performances. The bar, which is open until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, takes a fast, casual approach to dining.

Grease Monkey Contact Info: 817-665-5454; 200 N. Mesquite St., Arlington, TX 76015. Grease Monkey is also on Facebook

Gypsy Riddles Boutique & Gallery
The husband-and-wife team of Jaceson Jones and Jennifer “Gypsy” Riddle collaborated with Jaceson’s mother to form Gypsy Riddles Boutique & Gallery, a laid-back shop in the heart of Arlington offering fashion, jewelry, hats, sculptures and local art.

“We wanted that funky vibe of Austin, Colorado and California—something that you just can’t find anywhere else,” Riddles said. Indeed, individuality is the theme of Gypsy Riddles.

The boutique and gallery’s main allure is the one-of-a-kind pieces it sells. Riddle tries hard to provide “statement pieces” that don’t have 10 million duplicates roaming the country. Prices for jewelry and art start at $8 and $25 respectively and go up from there.

The shop is currently open and will celebrate its grand opening Sept. 17.

More about Gypsy Riddles: 817-908-2057; 207 N. Center St., Arlington, TX 76011. Gypsy Riddles is also on Facebook and Twitter (@gypsyriddles).


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